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Connecting Myths Essay

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    The Hero’s Journey, first observed by Joseph Campbell, helps modern audiences enjoy myths by organizing their shared themes, motifs, and commonalities; for instance the Miraculous Birth, Childhood and Divine Signs, and Trials and Quests steps connect Greek, Asian, and American mythologies. In the Miraculous Birth different tales present extraordinary births. During the years of youth for a hero, they show promising signs which can foreshadow a great future for them. Most myths and legends travel far and wide in order to journey farther in their trial of life. The steps of the Hero’s Journey assist in connecting different myths who share similar stories.

    In contrasting mythologies varying heroes and gods displayed extraordinary feats during or following birth among these being Hercules, Agni, and Quetzalcoatl. “Hera also sent two snakes to kill the new-born Hercules, but the baby easily strangled them” (Cartwright.) When Hercules was delivered he was sent into hiding yet was exposed to immediate danger. Even after Hercules was sent into hiding after his birth, he was able to show the potential he had following it. “Agni was born out of the sacred lotus created by BRAHMA” (Cortell, 157) Agni was created in a unique matter, such as that to being created by a god. A sacred object was used to deliver Agni which made his birth extraordinary. “At the time Quetzalcoatl seems to have been conceived as a vegetation god” (Tuck.) After parturition Quetzalcoatl was believed to be a vegetation deity. He was assigned from birth to be remarkable and similar to a god. Though the luminaries were born in different places at different times, their births represented the delivery of a powerful figure.

    During childhood the legends, Theseus, Amaterasu, and Xochiquetzal were all able to either prove themselves or/and demonstrate signs of grandeur. “Theseus was able to escape from the labyrinth after he had killed the brute” (Cortell, 189.) By escaping the labyrinth and executing the herculean Minotaur, Theseus was able to prove himself. He managed to conquer a significant feat that deemed him worthy. “Amaterasu was given rule over the sky by Izanagi when he handed to her his holy necklace” (Ancient Mythology.) Amaterasu demonstrated that she was one worthy of Izanagi’s necklace. When given the powerful god, Izanagi’s necklace and also rule over the sky she demonstrated a likeliness of a god or deity. “She was raised in Tamoanchan, one of the 13 heavens” (Rose.) Xochiquetzal lived her youth inside of Tamoanchan, a heaven in which was exclusive to gods and goddesses. Since she lived in one of the thirteen heavens it is indicated that she wasn’t a mere mortal. In each childhood for different myths demonstrated signs of greatness with their own individual legends.

    Throughout the tale of any hero, myth, or legend from any culture, the characters will frequently embark on a journey or go through some sort of trial;including, Theseus, Okuninushi, and Quetzalcoatl. “The journey was long and very hazardous because of the bandits that beset the road” (Hamilton, 211.) Theseus was sent out onto a voyage only to face many interferences. As he went out, Theseus exposed himself to much danger on his quest. “There Susanoo, lord of the underworld, posed various trials, all of which Okuninushi succeeded in passing with the help of Susanoo’s daughter Suseribime” (WordPress 2012.) Okuninushi went through many trials yet was able to accomplish all of them. With the help of Suseribime as well as intelligence of his own, he was able to complete his great quest. “According to legend, Queltzalcoatl transformed himself into an ant in order to retrieve seeds from the Mountain of Sustenance” (Orozco.) Quetzalcoatl was able to finish and complete his quest in order to offer aid to his people. He was able to accomplish a feat no one else had done on a quest alone. Though the adventures were not equal to one another they all shared similar themes of bravery and completion.

    All in all, contrasting mythologies from unique cultures and different parts of the world connect in similar ways shown through the steps of a Hero’s Journey. Through parturition, the Miraculous Birth, distinct legends displayed signs of greatness during birth. Throughout Childhood the luminaries mentioned accomplished excellent feats and exhibited many Divine Signs. Most of the legends in myths had to undertake of quest or trial which improved their person. Even though people from all around the world wrote stories about heroes that in some way or sort of form connected, they never met, the steps from A Hero’s Journey helps identify the makings of a hero.

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